India Opens a Breathtaking New Airport

Sep 26, 2018

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India revealed its 100th airport this week, and it might be the world’s most beautiful runway yet.

India’s new Pakyong Airport (PYG) sits 4,593 feet high in the Himalayan mountains and will serve Sikkim, a northeast state in India with breathtaking landscapes. The airport was a multimillion dollar project, has a 1.7 kilometer-long and 30-meter-wide runway surrounded by deep valleys. The terminal can accommodate up to 100 people, according to CNN.

“This airport was built at a cost of $68.7 million and showcases our engineers, workers and their potential — how the mountains were cleared, the ditch was filled, the heavy rains they dealt with. This is truly an amazing feat of engineering,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a speech at Pakyong’s opening ceremony on Monday.

 

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SpiceJet, one of India’s largest low-cost carriers, will be the only Indian airline providing air connectivity from Sikkim to the rest of the country — an area the airline says is an un-served market. Pakyong will be the carrier’s ninth destination under the regional regional connectivity scheme UDAN. The airline will operate daily flights to and from PYG started Oct. 4.

Some tourism groups in India believe this new airport will boost tourism in Sikkim.

“Several tourists from Kolkata have already booked their air tickets to Sikkim. They will be traveling around the Pujas,” Chewang Puljor, the deputy director at the Kolkata office of the Sikkim tourism department told the Times of India. “We expect several high-end tourists had been giving Sikkim a miss since there was no air link. They will now travel to the state.”

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